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My Town Zeeland: Memorial for record-setting pig June 25

My Town Zeeland: Memorial for record-setting pig June 25

ZEELAND, Mich.—  Community members are invited to celebrate the life of a record-setting resident of Zeeland this Wednesday.

Mister Chops died peacefully June 1 at his longtime home at the Critter Barn.  The beloved pot-bellied pig lived 21 years and 348 days, making him the oldest pig in history. 

Mister Chops spent his whole life at the Critter Barn, greeting a half-million visitors.  His owner credits Mister Chops’ long life on a proper diet and care from hundreds of Critter Crew members.

My Town: Two communities join Great American Meatout Day

My Town: Two communities join Great American Meatout Day

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The City of Kalamazoo will recognize the Great American Meatout Day this Thursday, March 20.

Mayor Bobby Hopewell recently signed a proclamation encouraging community members to skip the meat and opt for meals filled with vegetables, fresh fruits and whole grains. His proclamation discusses the health, environmental and animal welfare benefits.

This is the 30th year for the Meatout campaign, organized by the national nonprofit Farm Animal Rights Movement.  FARM says the lives of 8,000 can be spared if 30,000 people commit to going meatless for one full day.

Holland’s Thai Palace Restaurant also plans to show its support for the event with a vegan “feed-in” Thursday.  The restaurant plans to serve up free samples of vegan food to patrons. Thai Palace is located at 977 Butternut Drive.

Nature center brings back the birds with high tech solution

Nature center brings back the birds with high tech solution

WEST OLIVE, Mich.—Even though many birds have abandoned Michigan’s feeders for warmer southern weather, bird watchers are in for a treat The Parks Nature Education Center.

 Using a new app from GeLo, visitors can enjoy a guided bird tour complete with bird songs and calls, even if all the birds are gone.

“Eight beautifully carved birds were donated by local artist Michael Vanhouzen, and strategically placed around the exhibit area,” said Parks Naturalist, Kristen Hintz.

Come Kayak down the River

Come Kayak down the River

Kayak the Kalamazoo River with DeGraaf Nature Center in Holland, MI on Saturday, September 28th, from 10:30am – 3:30pm.

This three hour paddle begins within the Allegan State Game Area and ends at New Richmond, a beautiful 9-mile stretch of water on the Kalamazoo River with lots of wildlife sightings. This is a great time to see and hear migrating songbirds too.

The nature center will provide transportation from DeGraaf for kayaks, life jackets, paddles and guide. You provide the energy, snacks, waterproof lunch, (no coolers please), hats, sunscreen & insect repellant.

Fees for this trip are $25 but only $20 if you are a Friend of DeGraaf.  If you have your own boat, transfer fee is $15. Please call 616-355-1057 to register.

DeGraaf is located at 600 Graafschap Rd. in Holland, Mi. Website: www.degraaf.org

Top state official helps Ottawa County mark milestone

Top state official helps Ottawa County mark milestone

COOPERSVILLE, Mich.—The Director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development visited West Michigan earlier this month as Ottawa County  celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Eastmanville Farm Park.

As part of the event, roughly 150 people were treated to a picnic of food grown exclusively in Ottawa County.  Visitors also explored the historical park and listened to an address by MDARD Director Jamie Clover Adams.   A bus tour also took visitors to four farms verified by the Agricultural Environmental Assurance Program, including Bowerman Blueberries, H&H Turkey, Sietsema Farms and Countryside Greenhouse.

Animals take over final Parkapalooza Park Party August 8

Animals take over final Parkapalooza Park Party August 8

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The final Parkapalooza Park Party is guaranteed to be wild.

Join the staff of East Grand Rapids Library at John Collins Park for the “Animal Extravaganza”, featuring wildlife from the John Ball Zoo, the Kalamazoo Nature Center and the Critter Barn of Zeeland.  Children of all ages are also invited to take part in crafts during this free event.

 The Animal Extravaganza runs from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, August 8.  John Collins Park is located at 650 Lakeside Dr. SE. 

Register now to kayak the Kalamazoo June 22

Register now to kayak the Kalamazoo June 22

HOLLAND, Mich.--Register soon for this three hour paddle event, which starts in the Allegan State Game Area and ends at New Richmond.

This adventure takes place on Saturday, June 22 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at DeGraaf Nature Center,  located at 600 Graafschap Road in Holland. The nine-mile stretch will likely include lots of wildlife sightings, from birds like the Belted Kingfisher, the Common Yellowthroat  and the Bald Eagles to other creatures.

The Nature Center will provide a kayak, paddle, life jacket  and transportation. Guests should bring sunscreen, hat, snacks, bottles of water and a lunch packed in a waterproof container.